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  • José H. Leal

Shell of the Week: The Little Horn Caecum

Meioceras nitidum (Simpson, 1851) reaches only about 2.5 mm (0.1 inch). Caecum snails are mostly uncoiled, resembling little cylinder or tubes; they lose the coiled, early shell whorls at the end of the juvenile stage. The Little Horn Caecum has a tubular shell with bulbous mid-section, and very faint white and grayish markings set on a translucent background. Their shells can be found by sifting and sorting through the sands of Sanibel and Captiva and other parts of the western Atlantic. The images are a regular photo (top) to illustrate the color pattern and a scanning electron micrograph (bottom) to show surface detail (or lack thereof, in this case.) Read more about mollusks and their shells in our Shell Guide.

The Little Horn Caecum, Meioceras nitidum, from Sanibel. Photos by José H. Leal.


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